Founded in 1970, the Lateinamerika-Institut (LAI) is an inter-disciplinary Central Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin for research and teaching. The institute is composed of six social science disciplines offering discipline-specific, regional, and intercultural knowledge and expertise: political science, sociology and economics, anthropology of the Americas, history, Latin American literature and cultural studies. The LAI offers a Master’s Program in Interdisciplinary Latin America Studies which includes the participation of all LAI disciplines. On the level of doctoral studies the LAI offers a structured Doctoral Program "Latin America Studies from a Comparative and Transregional Perspective" as well as the International Research Training Group "Between Spaces. Movements, Actors and Representations of Globalization" both accredited by the Dahlem Research School (DRS). The research activities of the LAI are organized in the areas of (1) fragmented modernity and societal transformation processes, (2) globality and locality in transnational and continental exchange, (3) women and gender studies and(4) specific regional focal points.
The LAI of Freie Universität Berlin bears the main responsibility for desiguALdades.net together with the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (IAI) of the Stiftung Preussicher Kulturbesitz.